Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ingredient of the Day: Parsley

                    Curly Parsley (on left) and Flat or Italian Parsley (on right)

As a little girl, I remember running through my great grandmother's house right before a party. There were people everywhere, scurrying around trying to get ready. No one was paying attention to me in my patent leather shoes, especially since my head was barely tall enough to see over the tables. Nevertheless, I always managed to peer up high enough to check out the beautiful trays of food. There was, of course, the usual shrimp cocktail, deviled eggs, and onion sandwiches. There was also the token garnish of curly parsley. I loved to sneak a piece to play with, and did so every time.

In the 1950s, parsley was traditionally photographed with lemons as a garnish. As a chef, though, I have learned that parsley, curly or Italian (also known as flat leaf) can be used for so much more than just garnish. I personally choose Italian parsley over the curly variety for looks and taste. Italian Parsley is so delicious in chimichurri sauce, and is a delightful add to soups and stews. Of course, it is beautiful when chopped very finely and added to almost any dish.

Happy Cooking!